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OPINION | Why 2020 is Vettel's most challenging, frustrating season yet in F1

2020-09-21 13:30

Charlen Raymond

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Sebastian Vettel (Will Oliver / Getty Images)

• Sebastian Vettel is having one of his worst seasons in Formula One.

• After nine races, he is 13th in the championship.

• Vettel will join Aston Martin in 2021.

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2020 is a year Sebastian Vettel would want to forget as soon as possible. The German driver, a four-time Formula 1 champion, is struggling in the midfield with a Ferrari that's nowhere the pace of the frontrunners, and he is, perhaps, the only driver to have gone backwards in terms of performance. Just like his Ferrari team.

When Vettel joined F1 in mid-2007, he raced for the then-BMW-Sauber team. At his debut race, the US Grand Prix, he came home in eighth place and registered his first points in the sport. Because he was the reserve driver, BMW dropped him for the next three races but roped him for the Hungarian GP and the remainder of the season.

Given that BMW-Sauber wasn't a strong team and that he only raced a few races in 2007, Vettel ended the season in 14th place and with only six points to his name. Still, it was good enough for Toro Rosso to acquire his services and eventually Red Bull - the latter with which he'd win four consecutive championships between 2010 and 2013.

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Sebastian Vettel celebrating victory at the 2013 Brazilian GP (Clive Mason / Getty Images)

The Ferrari drama

So, how does 2007 bear any relevance to 2020? In terms of points finishing positions, the competitiveness of his race car, and his current position in the championship standing, Vettel is having his worst season in his F1 career.

With nine races completed, Vettel has scored a total of 17 points and is currently 13th in the championship. His team mate, Charles Leclerc, is in eighth place and with 49 points to his name. Vettel has suffered two retirements so far this year, finished outside the points on two occasions, has three tenth-place finishes to his name, a seventh place, and a season-best sixth-place finish; which he scored at the Hungarian GP.

Leclerc, on the other hand, appeared on the podium twice this season, albeit by benefitting from others' bad luck.

READ: Six years and no bacon - The Vettel-Ferrari romance was nothing but a nightmare

Vettel has signed with Aston Martin in 2021 and will race for the team the next couple of seasons. His Ferrari days, however, will come to an end at the end of this year, but the prospect of a new challenge will surely rejuvenate his ambition and competitive edge.

2020 is a challenging year for Vettel and one he'd like to forget as soon as it's over.

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